More farm land set aside for climate benefits
December 6, 2017
• Cap-and-trade tax provides the money
• Central Valley gets $2.6 Million of nearly $34 Million awarded
A state program has committed nearly $34 million to fund projects that protect agricultural land from development and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Of the $33,962,403 awarded, Central Valley projects have been given $2,652,500 by the Strategic Growth Council.
In all, 25 agricultural conservation easements have been funded in 19 counties.
The Council launched the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program in 2014 and works with the Department of Conservation to identify potential projects. In its first two years, the SALC program distributed $42 million to land trusts and local governments.
The five grants made to projects in the Central Valley are:
Central Valley Farmland Trust (Livingston-Delhi) $623,500
Central Valley Farmland Trust (Livingston-Delhi) $401,500
Central Valley Farmland Trust (Farmington) $873,250
Yolo Land Trust (Esparto) $654,250
City of Reedley (Agricultural Land Mitigation Program) $100,000
The largest grant was $3,450,700 to the Bear Yuba Land Trust, facilitating the second phase in the preservation of a 3,070-acre cattle ranch in the Penn Valley area of Nevada County.
The SALC program is part of the California Climate Investments initiative through which state agencies invest cap-and-trade auction proceeds in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing additional benefits to California communities.
“Both of the results the SALC program achieves – limiting development on agricultural property while at the same time reducing our carbon footprint – are valuable in terms of protecting the environment and enhancing the quality of life for Californians,” says California Resources Agency Secretary John Laird.
The $33.9 million in grant awards approved this year will preserve 46,253 acres of agricultural land and, by limiting development, reduce emissions by eliminating nearly 55 billion potential vehicle miles over a 30-year period, says the state.